My guest today is the venerable Michael Meade, author, mythologist, and storyteller, who was a prominent figure in the first wave of the mythopoetic men’s movement of the 80’s and 90’s. Michael was right in the center of it - sitting alongside legends such as Robert Bly and James Hillman. By the mid 90’s Michael moved away from the men’s movement, and founded the Mosaic Multicultural foundation, a non-profit dedicated to education and cultural healing, working with at-risk youth, returning veterans, prisoners, and youth involved in gang life. Over the last few years, I’d met Michael at a few public gatherings, and have long desired to sit down with him to understand what happened back then, and what the current mythopoetic wave can learn from his perspective. Just a note: This episode was recorded in late January, at Michael’s studio on Vashon near Seattle. This was before the coronavirus lockdown, and therefore of course, we don’t speak to this topic. At the same time, in our conversation we cover many other rich areas, including those early days of the mythopoetic men’s movement, the problem with codifying archetypes like king, warrior, magician, and lover - and the heart of men’s work, which for Michael, has always been about journey of the soul.
Michael Meade - Mosaic Voices Official Website
We live in wild times. So much has changed since I published my previous episode of this podcast. A global pandemic is now sweeping the world, with country after country imposing severe lock downs and many people retreating into isolation.
In Canada, we are just beginning to feel the impact, and the future is deeply uncertain. Which is why I am deeply honoured to share my conversation today with my friend and beauty maker Day Shildkret.
Day calls himself an impermanent earth artist, who has developed quite a following with his practice of Morning Altars - gorgeous mandalas that he builds through foraging for natural materials in each place that he goes.
In fact, I highly recommend pausing this podcast and visiting his Instagram to see this beauty for yourself.
In this episode, we begin with the obvious - speaking about the coronavirus that has now overtaken the public imagination. We explore his own roots as a young Jewish boy that was almost killed in a bombing in Israel, before coming out as gay in New York City and claiming his sexuality for the first time. And finally, we make a plea for the willingness to craft beauty in a time of fear, as a way to court life back into the center of the spiral.
Today I’m happy to share my conversation with Adam Jackson, one of the three co-fathers of the Sacred Sons men’s organization that has been making waves these last two years.
I was introduced to Adam when I attended their Sacred Sons convergence in San Diego last October, and was impressed with the way they stewarded 200 men over two subsequent weekends into realms of connection, healing, and empowerment.
In this episode, I speak with Adam about the recent birth of his second son Holland, along with the birth story of my own son Oryn. We explore the importance of not losing yourself as a new father, how he uses ritual to stay connected with his partner, and why the return of the Father archetype is so needed in modern culture.
I’m pleased today to share my conversation with visionary philosopher Charles Eisenstein. He is the author of numerous books, including the recent Climate: A New Story.
I first came across Charles’ work over 10 years ago with his book The Ascent of Humanity, where he articulates the deep story of separation that lives at the heart of modern civilization. From there, he wrote Sacred Economics, which inspired me to reach out to him and collaborate on a short that to this day remains one of my most popular films.
Since then, I’ve been privileged to call Charles a friend and ally in weaving the story of re-union - what he calls: the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
A few years ago, Charles developed his own interview series exploring the new story of masculinity. In this episode, I learn what he brought back from his journey, how he understands the role of the true king, and humanity’s coming initiation to cross the threshold from Mother to Lover Earth.
A technical note: the lower quality of my audio recording becomes better about halfway through the episode.
Charles Eisenstein - Official Website
Sacred Economics - short film
Today I’m happy to share my interview with Pat McCabe, an indigenous grandmother, activist, artist, and ceremonial leader. She is an international voice for global peace, and someone I seem to continually cross paths with at new paradigm gatherings around the world. I suppose we’re following the same song lines.
Recently on Facebook, I asked others to speak about the value of men’s work, and Pat wrote an intriguing response where she named her own explorations into a “thriving life” paradigm - and a new narrative for the sacred masculine that is longing to be born.
In this episode, I learn more about her personal journey with spirit, how she integrated her rage as a woman on this planet, and the deep prayer she holds for men to connect once again as functional members of the Hoop of Life.
By the end of our conversation, both of us are in tears. I wish the same for you.
Pat Mccabe's Official Website
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Eamon Armstrong is the host of his popular podcast Life is a Festival, promoting adventure and personal development through the lens of festival culture.
I first met him as the Prince of Parties when he worked for Fest300, where he got to travel the globe and report from world’s best festivals. It was at Rainbow Serpent in Australia where he happened to attend one of my first talks on masculinity and love. We bonded soon after, and kept in touch after returning to our home places.
A year later, Eamon and I returned to Australia where we offered a series of talks on the subject of mature masculinity - we were a great combination. I brought my experience and knowledge and he offered his playfulness and vulnerability. Plus, he made me just a little more fabulous.
More recently, he has experimented with stand-up comedy, exploring the conversation around men’s work with a poignant irreverence. Up next, I’ve included a short clip before we dive into our conversation.
Life is a Festival - Podcast
Benjamin von Mendelssohn is a longtime resident of Tamera peace research village in Portugal, which for the last 5 years has been the focus of a documentary I’m co-directing titled Love School. Benjamin is co-leader of the Global Love School, as well as the director of The Grace Foundation which aims to heal our collective relationship to money.
I first met Benjamin actually in my own kitchen, back when a friend asked on his behalf for a place to stay for a stop on his North American tour. At the time, I didn’t know much about Tamera, though we said hello and I continued on with my day. It was a year later in 2014 when I encountered Benjamin again at the Findhorn community in Scotland for The New Story Summit- he was attending as a speaker along with a few other Tamerans from his community, and it was then I recognized they were carrying an entirely different field of being.
I was invited to Tamera to make a short film about their research in healing love and sexuality, and in 2015, after my marriage ended, I knew it was time to visit. That journey began a love story with the community and a deepening relationship with Benjamin who I am now grateful to call a friend and a mentor.
In this episode, we discuss his first experiences coming to Tamera, what he had to unlearn as a man, and why truth in love is the foundation of a healed culture.
Tamera - Official Website
The Grace Foundation
Dr Sharon Blackie is an award-winning writer, teacher and speaker, aimed at cultivating the mythic imagination. She is the author of numerous books, including “If Women Rose Rooted” and the host of her own podcast This Mythic Life. Sharon specializes in the myths, folklore and fairy tales of the Celtic nations and the British Isles.
In today’s episode, I’m excited to speak with her about her historical and psychological insight into the masculine: from understanding the role of myth and re-examining classic stories like the quest for the Grail. Finally, we touch on the limitations of the hero’s journey and what may come next.
Sharon Blackie - Official Website
Sharon Blackie on Facebook
Zamir Dhanji is a longtime friend and ally in our mutual exploration of emerging culture. He is trained in Hatha yoga in the lineage of Swami Gitananda. His spiritual guru of the last eight years is the Buddhist wisdom master Maticintin, lineage holder of the “Mind Treasure Teachings” which are aimed as a direct means of cultivating the mind of enlightenment. This path includes the study of Buddhist teachings and applying oneself as a bodhisattva, dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings as a servant of life. He serves as a lead instructor for the Langara College Yoga Teacher Training program. Instructing in yoga asana, pranayama, philosophy and meditation. He weaves a long-time love of music, poetry and movement into his workshops and sessions, and continues to play with the Vancouver-based world music collective Naad. In this episode, Zamir and I discuss the masculine cosmology of India, what human love taught him about the divine, and his own journey into healing the relationship with his father. Ultimately, we explore how the mythic archetypes of the past could provide us with a model of healing the current conflict between the masculine and the feminine. Links: Official Website Zamir Dhanji
John Wolfstone is a filmmaker, wilderness rites-of-passage guide, and sacred clown focused on the work of cultural redemption. Over the past 10 years, he has been in service toward restorative justice, ancestral healing and peace building in conflict zones from rural Guatemalan villages, to Middle Eastern refugee camps and inner cities of the United States.
In 2015, John and I began work on our feature documentary Love School, exploring the radical research community of Tamera in southern Portugal. Since then, we have been on a deep journey of collaboration and brotherhood - complete with many bumps along the way.
I am happy to have John in my studio today, where we discuss the his own rite of passage - through the lens of catastrophic personal heartbreak, which catapulted him on a journey into the underworld and back again. We speak about men’s sexuality, the gateway of grief, and the perspective that we are now in a time of planetary initiation.
PART II is available as a bonus hour via my Patreon page.
John Wolfstone - Medium essays
Johh Wolfstone - Official Website
By now, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard the name Jordan Peterson, and already have a strong opinion about him. Back in 2016, he was the controversial Canadian academic who refused to agree to the mandated use of gender pronouns at the University of Toronto.
This resulted in a massive debate on whether he was taking a stand for free speech, or simply a bigot who refused to bow to the progressive future. Since then, his popularity has exploded. With the release of his new book “12 Rules for Life” he has become a Youtube star and been called the most influential public intellectual in the Western World right now.
On today’s show, my guests are Patricia Marcoccia and Maziar Ghaderi, co-directors of the new documentary titled The Rise of Jordan Peterson. The film has just finished a North American theatrical tour, and is now available widely online.
In this interview, we discuss the journey of making the film, the reasons why he is misunderstood by the political Left as well as the Right, and the mythic lens by which to understand his crusade in this cultural moment.
Official Website - The Rise of Jordan Peterson
Facebook Fanpage - The Rise of Jordan Peterson